THE manager of the First Base food bank charity in Dumfries has issued a heartfelt thank you to St John’s ahead of our final fund-raising soup lunch of the year.
On Friday, from noon-1.30pm, the lunch will take place in the church hall with cash raised from the donations (£3+ per adult is suggested) – heading to the charity on Buccleuch Street.
First Base food manager Mark Frankland said without the effort of St John’s and many other fund-raisers throughout Nithsdale
and Annandale, the charity would struggle to survive and a lot of people would suffer.
‘Without the support of the community, and the contribution from the likes of St John’s, a lot of people in this area would go hungry,’ said Mark.
He added: ‘The food donations and money we are given, from fundraising events like the soup lunch, are our lifeblood.
‘We thank everybody who goes to the soup lunch.
‘St John’s was one of the first two churches who supported us and now we have over 30 in Nithsdale
‘St John’s started a ball rolling that has become very, very important to us.’
At the moment, the charity is handing out between 400-500 parcels each month, a five-fold increase from only five years ago and Mark forecasts that the demand is likely to grow with the onset of the winter months.
He added: ‘We see a definite increase in the winter.
‘A lot of people essentially keep the electric or gas switched off all summer but as the temperatures drops there are no options left.
‘There are an awful lot of people we see who only have a certain amount of money available to them and it won’t pay for both food and heating so they have to make the choice between one or the other.
‘As things stand there is no where you can go for a heating parcel – it doesn’t exist – whereas food parcels do, so when people get to that position that they are so struggling that’s when we see them.’
St John’s has been supporting First Base as an integral part of its mission after Mark spoke in church during Poverty and Homelessness Action Week in January 2013 — sparking interest among our congregation and a decision to hold the soup lunches to generate funds.
Robin, the Rector of St John’s, says that, in relation to the Biblical principle of tithing, we aim to generate additional away giving which comes to at least 10% of our regular income.
Throughout the year, St John’s supports a wide range of projects both local, national and international which together make up our target. Some of the projects seem to have been particularly embraced by the congregation and the First Base Food Bank Project is one such.